This story category covers design and home decor, home maintenance and easy organizing tips.

Going Solo

 Here are 4 easy and imaginative ways flower fanciers have interpreted the fashionable one-bloom-per-container idea.

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CREATIVE SOLUTIONS | When it comes to indoor arrangements, of course we love the look of an armful of random cottage garden flowers tumbling loosely out of a vase. But we also love the opposite: a single flower displayed creatively on its own. Read more

How To Raise A Pick-up Artist

Here is a surprisingly simple way to ensure the messy pilers in your house get (and keep) their clothes off the floor.


THE CREATIVE SOLUTION | Do you live with a daughter who changes her outfit multiple times before bouncing out the door in the morning leaving a mile-high mound of clothes behind on her bedroom floor? Are you providing shelter for a son (or maybe bunking with a partner) who, instead of emptying his pockets and hanging up his pants, drops his drawers by the side of the bed before tucking in for the night?

After confiding my annoyance at the ongoing piles threatening to devour the bedrooms of my young, my tidy friend Tara suggested I use an inexpensive tool that had worked miracles at her house. Read more

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Watch Out, Windex

 This simple, chemical-free cleaning tool will leave your windows and mirrors with a shockingly non-streaky shine. (VIDEO)

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SHOCK & AWE | We live in a house filled with reflective surfaces that we are currently sharing with our daughter, her husband and their very curious baby, Dylan.

Dylan loves to press herself up against the windows and to touch the small human who eyeballs her back every time she looks into a mirror. And wherever she goes, this sweet child leaves tiny paw prints behind.

Not that her baby smudges bother us much. They’re kind of endearing really, but add them to the bug splats and floss bits that accumulate routinely on what-are-meant-to-be-sparkling surfaces, and there’s always a mess to contend with. Read more

Socttie-Pug Dudley Rule - Carolann Rule


This DIY acrylic barrier will stop canine escape artists without stopping the eye.

Socttie-Pug Dudley Rule - Carolann Rule

DO IT YOURSELF  | We love our Scottie-pug dog child, Dudley (pictured here), but he does have one annoying, potentially life-threatening habit. When we accidentally leave an outside door open, he bolts. While this is never a good thing, it is particularly troublesome at my husband’s garden design office where Dudley earns his kibble working as a greeter.

To foil this behaviour, senior landscape designer Kim Stuart came up with an inexpensive all-but-invisible system that eliminates the need to install those supremely unattractive but highly effective baby (a.k.a. dog) gates. Read more

CLUB cabin-low

CLUG: An Easy, Elegant Way To Store Bikes

Designed in Vancouver, the CLUG is an easy and elegant way to store bikes.

CLUB cabin-low INEXPENSIVE & AWESOME | If this isn’t a fabulous idea, I don’t know what is: a practically invisible clip that you can attach to almost any surface to store your bike in a space-saving position. Use the stylish CLUG—it’s a blend of the words clip and hug—“to keep your place tidy and display your ride without damaging it or your walls,” say the trio of industrial designers (with a Fuseproject connection) at Vancouver-based Hurdler Studios. They are currently crowd-funding on Kickstarter in an effort to speed their clever product to market.   Read more

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Shine Your Silver To Perfection Quickly Without Commercial Polish

This homemade concoction will put a shine on your silver with minimal cost and effort. (VIDEO)

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THIS STUFF WORKS | Until recently, I have polished my wee cache of silver—both sterling and plate, everything from jewellery to flatware—with pricey silver polish from a local jewellery store. “Why do you use that stuff?” my friend and Frugalbits contributor Brendan Power asked one evening after I complained about the bits of pink paste that had become lodged in the nooks of my newly cleaned Tiffany bracelet. I could avoid this residue, and polish up everything nicely, he explained, “using tin foil, soda and salt.” Read more

Emergency Preparedness - Cub Scouts

The Easiest Way To Pull Together An Emergency Survival Kit

If you have yet to cobble together an emergency survival kit, this well-priced ones from Costco will make the task an {almost} no brainer.

Emergency Preparedness - Cub Scouts


MONEY WELL SPENT | I can’t believe how many people I know who still have not put together a basic emergency preparedness kit. But hey, even with straight- forward easy-to-follow directions on this very website (CLICK HERE for our story on how to put together a survival kit from scratch), up until recently I was among the great unprepared. I wish I could say it was Frugalbits that prompted me to get my kit together, but it wasn’t; it was my dear friend and neighbour who showed me hers, a store-bought version from Costco. Read more

Starck Happy D.2 BATHTUB

Magic Eraser Really Does Remove The Most Stubborn Stains

The stain was so stubborn I thought I would have to replace my bathtub. Turns out all I needed was a small miracle.

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THIS THING WORKS | Shortly after we moved into our house, the acrylic tub in the master bathroom became stained. It looked as though something had spattered the finish and damaged it, but whatever the cause, the problem was finding a solution. Read more

drops Collage Frame - IKEA

You Will Love The Drops Frame From IKEA

How to get family snapshots out of Cyberland and into your living room.

drops Collage Frame - IKEA


CHEAP & AWESOME | Although they did not confirm this number themselves, Buzzfeed reported last year that humans take 380 billion photos a year. To that figure I would like to add my own unsubstantiated statistic: 99.99 percent of these photographs will forever reside out of view, most of them in Cyberland.

And maybe that’s a good thing, but displaying some printed photos in your home does keep good times and good people visually at hand without logging into a computer or staring at a digital flip screen. My new favourite way to display snapshots on paper is in an inexpensive Drops collage frame from IKEA. Read more


4 Ways To Dress Up Plain Paper Lanterns

Tissue Paper Stars
Kate Daudy - NYTimes

Peel and Stick Letters - The Swell Life

DIY | While inexpensive paper lanterns used en masse contribute enormously to the festive mood in a room (try imagining the space pictured above without them), a plain pendant lantern used on its own can easily look like an uninspired afterthought.

Of course a single Noguchi Araki light sculpture would be beautiful, but shades like these, which are fashioned from handmade washi paper and authentic bamboo ribbing, are anything but cheap.

If you are going to use a cheap Chinese paper lantern alone in a room, why not personalize it in a way that makes it distinctive? Here are four of our favourite eye-catching ways to embellish paper lanterns, plus a how-to video from Martha Stewart that covers some of the basics. Read more